With the current economic climate and academic challenges, it is a pivotal time for the academic community to understand that developing our students entrepreneurial abilities should be a top priority if we want to increase the chances of having successful and capable professionals and entrepreneurs in the near future. The best thing that this pandemic might have brought to the economy is equipping us with the knowledge that times like this can and will happen, and that the only way to survive through it is to prepare properly and have a solid action plan.
So in order to help you get started, we have come up with a short list of programs for entrepreneurial skill building that’s designed for young adults and students:
- Case Study Approach
One of the best ways to bridge the gap that online learning may cause is to adopt a case study approach for discussing different business-related situations and challenges. Case studies stimulate critical and practical thinking while still being true to actual and relevant situations that the students may face in their entrepreneurial journey.
- Innovative Contests
Come up with a brainstorming activity that would require the students to race into producing innovative and personal ideas to launch an original product or service that is relevant to the current market. While the current time is definitely challenging even for established organizations, this could be the perfect time to test out new ideas and adapt business plans to the new norm.
- Solid Company Mission, Vision, and Goals
In relation to the point above, it would also be a great idea to train students into developing solid business Mission, Vision, and Goals.
Teach them how to properly set individual missions for every department, team, and “employee” in order to reach organizational objectives. Be specific and require them to have a well-rounded vision that would apply even to the current situation.
- Encourage with Success Stories
Our current situation definitely does not feel like the ideal time to be in business, but sharing success stories of both local and national entrepreneurs might help encourage the entrepreneurship spirit in students’ hearts and minds.
- Business Plans and Presentations
Let the students develop a business plan on the idea that they were able to come up with. To make the most out of online classes, you can also require a business-like video conference wherein students can present their proposal and plans to their “investors” aka the whole class. Other students can take turns posing as investors that ask questions and challenge their classmates to be well-prepared. You can even amp this up by making a whole simulation of local officials, competitors, et cetera.
- Build their Communication Skills
Most successful businessmen are good with communication. It’s an essential part of an entrepreneur. So give your students tasks about verbal and non-verbal techniques to help them develop their communication skills. Incorporate debates and other communication-building exercises into your program.
- Simulation Exercises
Similar to the activities already mentioned, you can also recreate a real-world situation that would challenge students to solve business problems and develop their business instincts. You can focus on project delay management, bad PR management, or even operational issue management seeing how we’re currenlty forced to face one today.
- Social Media and Digital Marketing
With the inescapable rise of digital marketing, and its very close relationship to having a successful brand, you must include substantial social media marketing as well as digital marketing activities to maximize the potential of your students’ social media and technology skills.
- IT Project Method
If your students and institution have the resources, you can even assign a whole IT project requiring them plan, implement, and control all regards of IT functions, meaning hardware, software, networking, website, et cetera.
- Accounting and Financial Planning and Management
Give students the opportunity to learn about simple finance and accounting skills by making use of free and accessible tools like Google spreadsheets and Microsoft Excel. Although this job is usually delegated to professionals, it’s still a good idea to have fundamental knowledge and skills, especially as a startup.
The ideas mentioned above can help develop and encourage natural business skills among students and enable them to reach their full potential as successful entrepreneurs.